Baptism in the Corinthian church was an expression of allegiance to honour not only Christ but also the ‘patron’ apostle in whose testimony the convert had believed (1 Cor 1.12–17). Some apostles known to the Corinthians had died (cf. 15.6), yet their testimony lived on and bore fruit in Corinth, resulting in baptism for the honouring of the dead apostles. In the context of 15.20–34 Paul uses this practice to expose the hypocrisy of those who deny the resurrection and yet seek to honour apostles who depend on the resurrection for receiving honour, as do Christ and God the Father.
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